Five Minutes With… Henry Wallace, Marine Underwriter at NZI and ANZIIF Senior Associate

Five Minutes With… Henry Wallace, Marine Underwriter at NZI and ANZIIF Senior Associate | Insurance Business

Five Minutes With… Henry Wallace, Marine Underwriter at NZI and ANZIIF Senior Associate
Why did you get into insurance?
As crazy as it sounds as a 19 year old I saw insurance as an interesting industry – I was studying law at Canterbury University at the time and got a part-time role in claims. I actually got a real buzz reading policies and understanding how the clauses worked in practice.

How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Advocates, Partners, Accountable
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
I didn’t bind cover but I was approached for marine terms on a hovercraft with a lawnmower attached that mows the mangroves at Auckland airport. There may be the occasional close shave!
How would you change the industry?
I would like to see more done at a secondary school and tertiary level to encourage young people into our industry. Working in Insurance is a great career! I would also encourage a collaborative approach with brokers, clients and insurers via a strong tri partite relationship.
Knowledge and experience is key and I think that those with the know-how should continue to be generous and open with what they possess and can share with others.

What’s the most important thing brokers and insurers can do to improve their relationship?
Positive communication! Sometimes I think the real meaning of what was intended can be lost in translation if there are multiple emails which may go around in circles. I believe it is of utmost importance therefore to be able to pick up the phone or even arrange a face to face meeting which can benefit both the underwriter and broker relationship but most importantly help the end customer. This is what we are all here for after all! Ohh and perhaps the Insurer ‘Spartan’ rugby league team should take it easier on the brokers in the State of Insurance this year! 0-3 Maybe not.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be genuine and treat others how you would like to be treated. I apply this to all my interactions with brokers, customers, internal customers and pretty much anyone I encounter. I try and put myself in their shoes. When delivering marine training I try and think what  my brokers need to be able to explain to their clients? How can I help them, help clients to make informed choices.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
I would set up a committee tasked with encouraging more local tourism into our beautiful regions. Many end up spending their holidays overseas and I’d love to see that spend and enjoyment being had in our backyard. It’s a bonus we live in paradise. I’d even set up a website to share all the local water holes, waterfalls, best beach locations etc

What has been the highlight of your career?
I was privileged to have been nominated for the ANZIIF Young Insurance Professional of the year in 2014. Just to be considered was a huge honour. Thanks!
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Well I have a special version I call “The Wallace special” – Take one glass – fill half your glass with trim milk and then add two shots of hot coffee. The coffee amazingly sits on top of the milk and you start drinking the hot coffee followed quickly by the cool refreshing milk. Give it a go it’s amazing!
Union, league, soccer or other?
All three and it’s football not soccer, ha! To be honest I could watch the world marble championships if it was on Sky Sport...
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Django Reinhardt , Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis all awesome jazz musicians I’d love to jam with.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
Sitting on the beach in North Eastern Brazil – listening to Forro calypso rhythms and playing along with my cavaquinho (small ukulele type instrument). Wait a minute, already been there!